"Studying the Factory" is a recurring musical theme in the Kirby franchise, which first appeared in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It was composed by Jun Ishikawa and is associated primarily with industrial levels and settings. The theme makes use of heavy percussion, much of which resembles the regular clashing sounds of metal and machinery. Unlike most songs which originated in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the theme has been reused many times and is a perennial fixture in the series.
"Studying the Factory" is a somber tune with a slow-paced tempo of 76 beats per minute. This stands in stark contrast to most fast-paced and upbeat songs from the Kirby series. It begins with the sounds of whirring engines and a heavy drumbeat, and then continues with a subdued melody in A minor for the first segment. Orchestra hits, low strings, and bagpipes are added in the second segment, followed by a third section with a more hopeful melody in B flat minor. The mood abruptly turns sour with several repeated, discordant piano strikes, eventually looping back to the beginning. Much of the percussion for the song makes use of rhythmic sound effects of pounding and crunching metal, such as might be heard at an industrial assembly line.
The waveforms created for "Studying the Factory" would be reused in the same game to create Miracle Matter's theme. There are some later songs in the series that are thematically similar, as well, such as "Burning, Churning Power Plant" from Kirby and the Forgotten Land (also composed by Jun Ishikawa).
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
The "Studying the Factory" theme first appears in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, used exclusively in the Factory Tour stage in Shiver Star. The dark and dreary factory, a notable difference from the bright and colorful levels previously found in Shiver Star, is accompanied by a similarly drastic shift in musical style. It can heard as music 17 in the game's Sound Test, and track 27 on the Hoshi no Kirby 64 Original Soundtrack.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
"Studying the Factory" is remixed for the Mad Mechanism stage in Kirby: Canvas Curse. The tempo is significantly faster, and the instrumentation uses chiptune-like elements and a Sega Genesis FM bass, giving it a more energetic feeling while still remaining in minor key.
Kirby Super Star Ultra
The Kirby Super Star Ultra Sub-Game Snack Tracks uses an abridged remix of the "Studying the Factory" theme. Like the previous Kirby: Canvas Curse remix, it uses a faster tempo and chiptune instruments, and notably adds the sound of clanging pots and pans as percussion, matching the food-related gameplay. When 30 seconds are left, the song becomes even faster and more frantic.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the original version of the song is reused for the Factory Tour stage in Kirby Fighters.
Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Kirby Fighters 2
The Factory Tour stage returns in both Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Kirby Fighters 2 with its original music intact. In Kirby Fighters 2, the stage gains a new remix of the theme as its secret song. The remix, like other songs in Kirby Fighters 2, primarily blends traditional Japanese instrumentation and modern synths, and also incorporates an electric guitar. The secret song is unlocked with a Fighters Rank of 67.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
In Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a remix of the "Studying the Factory" music can be unlocked as a Treasure in the stage Infiltrate the Junk Factory!. The song is remixed in a similar style to the original, with updated instrumentation and added elements, such as an electric guitar countermelody. The remix is listed as track 32 in the Sound Room.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, another remix of the "Studying the Factory" music is used as the theme of Gigabyte Grounds - Stage 3. This remix, which is titled "Studying the Power Plant" on the Kirby: Planet Robobot Original Soundtrack, is similar to the original song while adding modern instrumentation and chiptune instruments. It also incorporates the original version of the song, muffled and distorted underneath a cacophony of piano chords and guitar feedback. It is arranged by the original composer, Jun Ishikawa, and can be found as track 036 in the Jukebox and track 28 on the Kirby: Planet Robobot Original Soundtrack.
The Kirby: Canvas Curse remix is reused in Gigabyte Grounds - Stage 7 EX. It is track 121 in the Jukebox.
The original Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards song appears on the soundtrack albums Hoshi no Kirby 64 Original Soundtrack and Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition Compilation Soundtrack. The Kirby Super Star Ultra remix appears in the track "Sub-Game Medley" on the Kirby Ultra Super Deluxe Original Sound Track, and "Studying the Power Plant" appears on the Kirby: Planet Robobot Original Soundtrack.
On The Sound of Kirby Café 2, a remixed medley of "Studying the Factory" and Kirby 64's "Select Screen" theme is included and titled 眠れるキカイのプラネット (Planet of Sleeping Machines). It has a gentler tone that primarily focuses on piano, and was arranged by Hirokazu Ando.
The composer of "Studying the Power Plant", Jun Ishikawa, broke his reading glasses by putting them inside an electric guitar.
- According to composer Jun Ishikawa, the electric guitar sound in "Studying the Power Plant" was made by sticking his reading glasses between the instrument's strings. Ishikawa's goal was to use electric guitar feedback to reference the use of electricity by power plants, and after finding a standalone guitar insufficient, he prepared the instrument with various objects before settling on his glasses. According to Ishikawa, this method resulted in the glasses breaking, which he attributed to their cheap quality.
Names in other languages
Studying the Factory
Japanese name first given on the Hoshi no Kirby 64 Original Soundtrack.
||Étude de l'usine
||Study of the factory
||Beobachten der Fabrik
||Observing the factory
||Studiando la fabbrica
||Studying the factory
||Analizando la fábrica
||Analyzing the factory
Studying the Power Plant
|Power Plant Tour